Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter

REGISTRATION for the first ever virtual Old Mutual West Gate Half Marathon will close tomorrow ahead of the event with the event set to be held this weekend.

Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic a number of marathon events world over are being held virtually.

The West Gate run has been a half marathon every year, but is offering participants a full marathon this year since it’s a virtual event.

Registration fees are $200 for all race categories, which include the 5km, 10km 21.1 km and 42.2km.

In a virtual marathon, athletes register and pay the requisite amount for their preferred distance then run on the set date at their own time along their own chosen route.

A virtual marathon can be held in any location one chooses and organisers of most events have gone virtual since large events have been curtailed by outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Virtual marathons attract large entries since participants run wherever they choose, removing congestion’s associated with large races.

Last year’s event was won by Lobels Athletics Club’s Misheck Sithole in the men’s race and Fortunate Chidzivo in the women’s category.

Sithole crossed the finishing line in 1 hour 7 minutes 39 seconds ahead of Moses Tarakino, who finished in 1 hour 8 minutes 14 seconds.

Abel Chibanda was third, just seven seconds behind Tarakino in 1 hour 8 minutes 21 seconds.

Chidzivo claimed the women’s title in 1 hour 19 minutes 5 seconds.